Archive for May, 2015

May 02 2015

More Tapping

Although the formerly mentioned method works fairly well, it only works for a day or so. These small wounds heal over fairly fast and stop providing any sap at all. A much more long lasting and productive method is to drill a hole at an upwards angle of the tree and plug the hole with another birch stick with a V cut going along its length. The sap will collect in the cut and drip into your container. When you have tapped one particular birch for a few days you can plug the hole again with a whole birch plug.

A few other points to tapping sap:
– When the ground is very dry, birches doesn’t provide much. In persistent dry weather, tap birches close to water sources or wet ground.
– The sap subsides during the night. If you have only one container, you can use it for something else then.
– Insects will be attracted to your sap. If possible it’s best to elevate your container from the ground to reduce the amount of ants falling in. You will still get some moskitos and flies falling in. I just scoop those out before drinking.

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May 01 2015

Duck Houses

The Red-breasted merganser is a duck that specialises in fishing. We frequently see them in spring and autumn, but they rarely seem to breed here. Considering that our lakes are highly overpopulated and any effort to cull the population has been largely unsuccessful, we decided to set up two artificial nesting sites for these birds.

Such nests were made traditionally in northern Sweden for collecting eggs. Our purpose is solely to lure them into thinning our fish lakes though. According to research a breeding couple can take 20000 small trout in a season!

Now, if the otter could return as well, we’d have high quality fish in no time at all.

My brother Arne (in picture) and I built the nests using moss, rocks and planks. We set them up on two small islands so land-based predators like foxes and badgers will have a hard time getting to them.

 

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